Ellistronics is a maker of zany, noisy and often bizarre synthesizers. Sewn is a synthesizer brilliantly “sewn” into some kind of old sack. It’s the latest in a long line of weird devices from the master of handmade electronic instruments.
Stuffed into this piece of material are 3 interconnected modules. There are 2 independent primitive “Push/Pull” oscillators and a mixer/amplifier with 5 unique gain stage inputs to shape incoming signals. The idea is that you patch these things together in order to generate and manipulate sound. But it’s not just patch cables we’re dealing with, it’s actual components. The pitch range of the oscillators is set by plugging in different capacitors. The larger the capacity the lower the pitch will be. Each oscillator has two slots for capacitors and so you can experiment with mixing them about causing all sorts of variations in waveform symmetry and tonal output.
The oscillators have 4 outputs located at different points in the oscillator signal chain giving them a unique signal. These can also be used as inputs for feeding signals into the path. This can create all sorts of weird cross modulation.
Each of the 3 modules has a corresponding solar panel. These bring power to the system but they also act as an interactive playing surface. The amount of power they generate affects the way the circuits behave and so waving your hands around over them can produce all sorts of modulations. You can also patch the panels directly into the oscillators for some light-dependent modulation. Do note that not much power is required so Sewn will work inside and doesn’t have to be in direct sunlight.
Sewn comes with a few patching wires and a bag of 20 capacitors. The idea is to start messing about and see what happens. It might be musical, it might be something completely unexpected.
Ellistronics is making 24 of these by hand for just over £60 each.
- Ellistronics Etsy shop.